Why do we urge you to simplify? Our design philosophy of "less is more" stems from the idea that creating more space for the activities and people you love — rather than more things — will lead you to a more fulfilled life. Our minimalism rejects fulfillment in objects and embraces the space made by decluttering, organizing and simplifying to create opportunities for the truly important things.
However, to truly learn to think this way takes constant reminders and real discipline. In a world inundated by ads pitching the latest and greatest, it's difficult to realize when you have enough. We realize some of this may seem counterintuitive coming from a retail business. Because, yes, we make objects — but our goal is to make those objects fit seamlessly into your life, so you don’t have to spend much of your precious time finding, tidying, and organizing.
When stuff becomes too much in your space, we’ve got some great tips to battle that visual noise. Follow along with our "52 Ways to Simplify" series, as we share our best hacks for decluttering and simplifying every area of your life. Check back here each week as we tackle a new topic.
“Outer order contributes to inner calm.” - Gretchen Rubin
4 Tips for Decluttering Your Space
- Clutter Triage: Grab three empty boxes, tape and a marker. Label each one with something like “put away,” “give away” or “throw away.” Boxes do wonders as decluttering tools. By categorizing your mess, you’re taking the first step to compartmentalize visual noise and organize it into its proper place, where it will take up less space in your visual field and in your mind. After you organize your mess, you’re halfway there. Put the contents of the "throw away" box in the trash, then put the "give away" box in your car or by your door where you won’t forget it. Next, concentrate on that “put away” box. Having a portable box with you will help you restock those misplaced items back in their proper place.
- Organize with Bins: Your stuff needs a home. Some folks like to have their stuff easily accessible at a glance, while for others, it has to be out-of-sight to be out-of-mind. First, assess what type of person you are and what will bring you peace, then make it so. In either case, organization bins can help. We’re hybrid in our approach, because we like to organize with clear bins and labels behind closed cabinet doors. The cabinet doors keep things tidy, and the clear labeled bins allow us to easily locate what we’re looking for. If you prefer your bins to be out in the open, you may want to invest in better looking bins that do a better job hiding the mess.
- Eliminate Doubles: There are so many duplicates in our homes. You can make a lot of progress to declutter by coming up with a list of things in your home of which you have multiples. Have a look around your room and identify and reduce. I’ll go first sitting here in my office … three monthly planners, two notebooks, three pairs of scissors, three pen holder mugs, four chairs, 15 iPhone cables, two vacuum cleaners, two pencil sharpeners, two sewing machines, an extra monitor, five rolls of tape and two dispensers, plus coins I’ll never use. I could go on — and this is after I’ve straightened! Just pick a few things to eliminate, maybe one per day. Your goal is to get into the habit so that you learn to think critically about what you surround yourself with. Clutter is a never-ending battle, but you can become better at resisting it with practice.
- Measure Progress: If you can remember, take a before and after picture of your decluttering efforts. This will help you to appreciate what a difference you’ve made and will motivate you to keep things clean and tidy in the future. Messes can be overwhelming, and sometimes we just need a little reminder of what life could be like with just a little more effort.